Ag Research: Corpus Luteum

I documented the processing of a corpus luteum (CL), the structure that forms on the ovaries of mammals after ovulation. The CL plays a critical role in establishing and sustaining pregnancy. Researchers work to separate and isolate cell types using a variety of techniques including spinning material at high speeds with a centrifuge. The layers in the tube dramatically visualize some of the early cell and tissue separation. A more extensive discussion of this work and of Penn State’s Center for Reproductive Biology and Health will appear in the next issue of Penn State Agriculture magazine.

Ag researchers patiently explain their experiments but often (usually) the science is far beyond my comprehension. The science and technology applied in agriculture is as sophisticated as any area of research. A flow cytometer using a laser to count individual cells passing through a near microscopic column was just one of the devices in use during my assignment today involving reproductive biology.


Anonymous said…
I am enjoying the images and information you are posting. I just stumbled across your blog but am glad I did. I'm curious about how much you need to know about agriculture or science to make the photographs you do on assignment? It seems like it would be hard to approach just as a straight photographer.

Pvino said…

I have been enjoying your scientific coverage and their effects on human bound activities. My interest has been inspired through my early life introduction to Popular Science magazine. Your writings continues to be inspiring to me from your earlier blogs on "Scooter in the Sticks" to your new intriguing Theoretical Agriculture writing. With the changes going on "Green House Effect" to our world economy...much can be said to what have transpired by human existence. Are the planetary alignment directing us to same pathological end as our earlier ancestors demise? I hope that the wisdom and acknowledge that we all have acquired - lead us out of this potential futuristic fate. Again we must venture "Back to the Future" :)....

Kano said…
Were you tempted to wheel the Vespa into the lab and use it as a background for the test tube pics?

On your previous post re: green roofs, I once saw an old barn with the roof completely covered with "Hens & Chicks" (sedum & sempervivum). It's amazing what little foothold some plants can thrive on.
Steve Williams said…
Robert: Over the years I have developed some basic understanding of science and agriculture just from the shear amount of interactions I've had with faculty, producers, students and researchers. That coupled with a curious mind makes it easier to approach this sort of subject matter.

pvino: I have always loved to read Popular Science. It provides me with the what if ideas that I like.

It's hard to know where we are headed but I think it will be quite a ride. Researchers here are working in many of the areas related to energy and climate.

Now that Scooter in the Sticks has been in suspended animation for a couple months I think my head has cleared enough that I will probably start posting there now and again.

kano: No, I didn't think of the Vespa for this shot but one of these times I'm sure it will appear!

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